After getting tired of a forced marriage, a Malawian girl identified as 18 year-old Jestina Gondwe decided to commit suicide by throwing herself into a river in Mzimba, Malawi police say.
Malawi24 understands that the girl was forced to marry 20 year-old Mavuto Chirwa who discussed the arrangement with Gondwe’s parents behind her back.
Chirwa paid the bride price and made every arrangement required for someone to get married in accordance with the Ngoni culture.
After getting impressed with the groom, the girl’s parents are said to have forced their daughter, who was in standard seven, to get married on condition that she will continue with her education while in marriage.
“They agreed with the groom that their daughter will continue her studies while in marriage. The daughter complied and got married to Chirwa with whom she had a child but the baby died soon after being born,” said Samuel Zimba who followed the story.
According to Zimba, the couple agreed that the girl will go back to school after giving birth. After the death of the baby, the girl reminded her husband of the agreement but he insisted that he was not ready to send her to school because he had plans to make another child with her.
This made the girl to get furious and she threatened her husband that she will divorce him because she wanted to go back to school to realise her dream of becoming a teacher.
However, Chirwa threatened to kill the girl if she dared to divorce him.
“The girl got more furious with that and went to her parents to report but they only told her to persist in marriage and remain royal to her husband. This made her to consider committing suicide by drowning at one of the nearest rivers here,” added Zimba.
Efforts to get clarifications from her relatives on the story proved futile as they were afraid to grant an interview to this publication.
However, police publicist for the district, constable Kanjauso, has since confirmed the incident.
Kanjauso told our reporter that the police together with a medical team went to the scene and postmortem results conducted proved that she died due to suffocation.
“We are aware about the incident and as police we are very saddened with that because we still believe the matter would have been solved without costing life. Our advice is that people must not rush to commit suicide while we have victim support units which are there to help them,” said Kanjauso.
The deceased hailed from Ching’ombe village, traditional authority Khosolo in Mzimba district.